2017 Keynote Speaker

Katherine Bowie
University of Wisconsin, Madison and
President, Association for Asian Studies

“Folktales and the Politics of Humor: 
The Case of the Vessantara Jataka in Thailand”

Katherine A. Bowie is the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Among her many studies of Thai culture and Theravada Buddhism, Prof. Bowie has just published Of Beggars and Buddhas: The Politics of Humor in the “Vessantara Jataka” in Thailand (University of Wisconsin Press 2017). At the University of Wisconsin, she has twice served as the Director for the Center of Southeast Asian Studies. Prior to becoming the President of the AAS, she has served on the AAS program committee, the Benda Prize committee and the Council of Committees.